Tuesday, January 11, 2005
there is a profound ignorance among some as to the purpose of morality -- as though it descended from the clouds for no good reason and we would do as well without it. these people get caught up in arguing utility, on the grounds that the end justifies any means.
the point of morality is to serve as the means to protect against ends which you have not (and often are not able) to consider. moral behavior is a code derived of unimaginably long experience which is intended to protect you and your society from yourself and itself in fits of self-empowering idealism.
the redirection of an established torture apparatus on one's own is one such end -- i submit that one would do best to visualize the maximal utility of morality by considering iraq as a pilot plant for programs for future possible use against the american population.
nihilists have no problem with torture -- despite its profoundly immoral basis -- because they naively assume that the ends will be only those which they have considered. this is a conceit that one almost always finds in the amoral.
it is also why such nihilism accompanies ages of unrestricted individuality. antisocial degrees of individualism are inherently arrogant, stupidly assuming that the safeguards of society are not only unneeded but hindrances.
such nihilists haven't -- and indeed, through the veil of future complexity, cannot have -- considered the unintended disasters that await them by acting on their idealism without regard for the morality whose function it is to protect them from such narcissistic idiocy.